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Tanya Plibersek says she feels ‘very sorry’ for Gladys Berejiklian

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tanya plibersek says she feels very sorry for gladys berejiklian

A Labor MP has revealed she ‘feels sorry’ for Gladys Berejiklian after her personal relationship with disgraced MP Daryl Maguire was laid bare. 

The embattled New South Wales Premier has faced calls to resign after her knowledge of her former lover’s shady business dealings came into question at an ICAC inquiry this week.  

But former Deputy Leader of the Labor Party Tanya Plibersek has come to Ms Berejiklian’s defence, saying personal lives are difficult to maintain as a politician. 

‘I feel actually, as a human being, very personally sorry for the premier,’ Ms Plibersek told the ABC’s Insiders program.

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Federal Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek (pictured) has revealed she ‘feels sorry’ for the NSW Premier after the details of her intimate relationship with disgraced MP Daryl Maguire were laid bare this week

‘It is hard to form and maintain relationships in our line of work.’

Ms Plibersek refused to answer comments on whether the premier should step down, but said ‘there was never any excuse for corrupt behaviour or turning a blind eye to corrupt behaviour’. 

‘Any sort of impropriety should be properly investigated by ICAC and if it is referred to the police, by the police or the courts,’ she said.

‘It doesn‘t matter who the person is, it doesn’t matter their gender, it doesn’t matter if we like the person or feel sorry for them.’ 

Ms Plibersek, who served as the Deputy Leader for six years until stepping down last year, also slammed the proposed federal integrity commission model.

‘My concern is why don’t we have a national integrity commission, a similar anti-corruption body at a federal level?’ she said.

Ms Berejiklian had a close personal relationship with Daryl Maguire (pictured together)

Ms Berejiklian had a close personal relationship with Daryl Maguire (pictured together)

Ms Berejiklian had a close personal relationship with Daryl Maguire (pictured together)

‘It can only look at behaviour that has happened after the laws have passed and the body is set up. It can’t look at things off its own bat. It can’t accept referrals from whistleblowers … I mean, what a joke.’ 

The ICAC is attempting to pin down what the Liberal leader knew about Maguire’s financial dealings, including a sale of land at Badgerys Creek, near the site of Sydney’s under-construction second airport.

The inquiry has heard then-Wagga Wagga MP Maguire hoped to make up to $1.5 million in the sale of land – which was owned by racing heiress Louise Waterhouse.

He could therefore clear his debts before retiring from Parliament and embarking on a new life, possibly with the Premier.

In sensational evidence, Mr Maguire this week admitted ‘monetising’ his parliamentary position as an MP, parliamentary secretary and chair of the ‘friends of the Asia-Pacific’ committee.

He confessed to running a cash-for-visa scheme from his office and being a secret director of a company, G8way International. G8way ‘ultimately’ sought to sell access to the highest levels of government.

Ms Berejiklian has been forced to defend her integrity after admitting on Monday she had a five-year relationship with Mr Maguire. 

Ms Berejiklian has been forced to defend her integrity after admitting on Monday she had a five-year relationship with Mr Maguire

Ms Berejiklian has been forced to defend her integrity after admitting on Monday she had a five-year relationship with Mr Maguire

Ms Berejiklian has been forced to defend her integrity after admitting on Monday she had a five-year relationship with Mr Maguire 

She was forced to unceremoniously sack the Wagga Wagga representative in 2018 after learning he was making dodgy deals. Ms Berejiklian has denied having any inkling that Mr Maguire’s dealings may be dodgy.

A transcript of private hearings on Thursday were released on Friday showing Mr Maguire admitted forming a relationship with Ms Berejiklian as early as 2013 and becoming ‘close’ in 2014. Both previously said it began around 2015. 

Intimate phone conversations, in which he called her ‘babe’ and she called him ‘numero uno’, Spanish for ‘number one’, were broadcasted to investigators. 

The notoriously private politician has since been in damage control, telling reporters earlier this week she was ‘humiliated and embarrassed’ the intimate details of her love affair were now public.

Mr Maguire has supported the premier’s claims, telling the inquiry he did shield her from details of his business activities, but had used her as a ‘sounding board’.

‘I thought it would cause her difficulties, so I limited the information that I gave her, yes … obviously, there is a conflict of interest and all that kind of stuff,’ he said. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Nearly 800,000 US children have been infected with coronavirus – and 94,000 in the past two weeks

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nearly 800000 us children have been infected with coronavirus and 94000 in the past two weeks

Coronavirus infections among American children make up 11 percent of all cases in the US, a new report finds.

As of October 22, 792,188 youngsters have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Only about 100,000 children had tested positive by the end of July, meaning nearly 90 percent of cases have occurred over the past three months.

The report also finds that more than 10 percent of all pediatric infections have been diagnosed within the last two weeks.    

As of October 22, 792,188 US children have tested positive for coronavirus, making up 11% of all cases in the US (above)

As of October 22, 792,188 US children have tested positive for coronavirus, making up 11% of all cases in the US (above)

As of October 22, 792,188 US children have tested positive for coronavirus, making up 11% of all cases in the US (above)

Over the last two weeks, 94,555 new child COVID-19 cases were reported, which is a 14% jump from the previous two weeks (above)

Over the last two weeks, 94,555 new child COVID-19 cases were reported, which is a 14% jump from the previous two weeks (above)

Over the last two weeks, 94,555 new child COVID-19 cases were reported, which is a 14% jump from the previous two weeks (above)

Up to 6.9% of all pediatric COVID-19 cases have resulted in hospitalization and up to 0.15% have died. Pictured: Penny Brown, age 2, is held by her mother Heather Brown as her nose is lightly swabbed during a test for COVID-19 in Seattle, Washington, August 28

Up to 6.9% of all pediatric COVID-19 cases have resulted in hospitalization and up to 0.15% have died. Pictured: Penny Brown, age 2, is held by her mother Heather Brown as her nose is lightly swabbed during a test for COVID-19 in Seattle, Washington, August 28

Up to 6.9% of all pediatric COVID-19 cases have resulted in hospitalization and up to 0.15% have died. Pictured: Penny Brown, age 2, is held by her mother Heather Brown as her nose is lightly swabbed during a test for COVID-19 in Seattle, Washington, August 28

According to the report, the overall rate of pediatric coronavirus cases is 1,053 infections per 100,000 children in the population.

An astonishingly high 94,555 new child COVID-19 cases were reported between October 8 and October 22.

The jump from 697,633 to 792,188 means there has been a 14 percent increase over the last two weeks.

Currently, there are 11 states that report 15 percent or more of their cumulative cases are among children: Wyoming, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Dakota, New Mexico, Minnesota, Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

Wyoming has the most with more than 25 percent of all the state’s cases among its youngest residents. 

Meanwhile, just two places in US – New Jersey and New York City – have reported fewer than five percent of their cases are among kids. 

Currently, there are 11 states that report 15% or more of their cumulative cases are among children (above)

Currently, there are 11 states that report 15% or more of their cumulative cases are among children (above)

Currently, there are 11 states that report 15% or more of their cumulative cases are among children (above)

Additionally, over the last two weeks, nine states have seen a 25 percent increase in child cases: Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Since the pandemic began, children  have made up for between five percent and 16.9 percent of total state tests.

As of October 22, between 0.6 percent and 6.9 percent of all child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization 

Up to 0.15 percent of all children with the virus have died, and 16 states have reported no pediatric deaths.

‘At this time, it appears that severe illness due to COVID-19 is rare among children,’ the AAP report reads.  

‘However, states should continue to provide detailed reports on COVID-19 cases, testing, hospitalizations, and mortality by age and race/ethnicity so that the effects of COVID-19 on children’s health can be documented and monitored.’

The AAP recommends that children, like adults, wear masks, avoid large crowds in public places and socially distance.

The group also suggests that children six months old or older get a flu shot before the end of October to avoid a possible ‘twindemic’ this upcoming winter.   

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Over the summer, President Donald Trump constantly asserted that children are ‘essentially immune’ from COVID-19 during his calls for schools to reopen. 

‘There may be a case, a tiny, a tiny fraction of death, tiny fraction, and they get better very quickly,’ Trump said during a press briefing at the White House in August.

‘I think for the most part, [kids] don’t get very sick, they don’t catch it very easily, and…they don’t transfer it to other people, or certainly not very easily.’

However, at least 1,000 children who have had COVID-19 or have been around someone with the virus have developed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a condition in which different body parts become inflamed.

Additionally, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report of an overnight summer camp in Georgia seemed to indicate that children are susceptible to the coronavirus and can infect others.

Out of the 344 campers and staffers tested, 260 were diagnosed with the virus after spending less than a week together, primarily without wearing masks. 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Queensland: Caboolture Square security guard who was allegedly punched in the face has died

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queensland caboolture square security guard who was allegedly punched in the face has died

A shopping centre security guard who was allegedly punched in the face by a man who had thrown a chair in the mall has died in hospital. 

Charles Lewis, 38, was allegedly attacked while working at Caboolture Square shopping centre in Brisbane on October 9.

He died at Brisbane Women’s Hospital on Tuesday, News Corp reported. 

Charles Lewis (pictured), 38, was allegedly attacked while working at Caboolture Square shopping centre in Brisbane on October 9

Charles Lewis (pictured), 38, was allegedly attacked while working at Caboolture Square shopping centre in Brisbane on October 9

Charles Lewis (pictured), 38, was allegedly attacked while working at Caboolture Square shopping centre in Brisbane on October 9

A man allegedly threw a chair inside of the centre before Mr Lewis approached him.

Mr Lewis was allegedly punched in the face by the man, which caused him to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground.

Witnesses told 7News the alleged attack was seemingly unprovoked.  

A 30-year-old man has been charged with the alleged attack.

He was remanded in custody to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on November 25.

The man was initially charged with wilful damage and grievous bodily harm.   

Queensland Police have not upgraded the man’s charges at this stage. 

Mr Lewis (right) was allegedly punched in the face by the man, which caused him to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground

Mr Lewis (right) was allegedly punched in the face by the man, which caused him to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground

Mr Lewis (right) was allegedly punched in the face by the man, which caused him to fall backwards and hit his head on the ground

Friends and family were devastated when news of the alleged attack first broke. 

‘Charles is a quiet, caring, sweet, absolute gem of a person,’ an unnamed female friend told Courier Mail at the time.

‘I’m so angered by what has happened to Charles, there couldn’t be a more innocent soul for this to have happened to.’

Similar messages were uttered on Wednesday after news of Mr Lewis’s death spread.

‘RIP Charles you were well liked and very friendly. Condolences to your family, friends and work colleagues and all that knew you in your workplace,’ one person said, Caboolture Shire Herald reported.

Another said: ‘My partner and I will be forever thankful for everything you did for us the day we needed someone’s help! You were the only one who helped us.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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House prices rebound in every major city except one – as sunseekers snap up property in Byron Bay

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house prices rebound in every major city except one as sunseekers snap up property in byron bay

Australian house prices have rebounded in every capital city except for Melbourne, meanwhile properties in Byron Bay have surged by almost a third in the past year.

Property sales group Domain revealed buyers returned to real estate during the September quarter as they braced for tax cuts to be fast-tracked. 

The popular coastal town which both Chris Hemsworth and Zac Efron call home has enjoyed a 29.6 per cent year-on-year surge in September.

Median house prices in Byron Bay now stand at $1.16million. 

Sydney, Australia’s biggest housing market, saw a 1.2 per cent increase in median house prices to $1.154million during the September quarter, 6.8 per cent over the past year. 

The popular coastal town (Wategos Beach pictured) where Chris Hemsworth and Zac Efron have chosen to settle has been sizzling, with data from online real estate showing a 29.6 per cent annual surge in September

The popular coastal town (Wategos Beach pictured) where Chris Hemsworth and Zac Efron have chosen to settle has been sizzling, with data from online real estate showing a 29.6 per cent annual surge in September

The popular coastal town (Wategos Beach pictured) where Chris Hemsworth and Zac Efron have chosen to settle has been sizzling, with data from online real estate showing a 29.6 per cent annual surge in September

Sydney (pictured), Australia's biggest housing market, saw a 1.2 per cent increase in median house prices to $1.154million during the September quarter

Sydney (pictured), Australia's biggest housing market, saw a 1.2 per cent increase in median house prices to $1.154million during the September quarter

Sydney (pictured), Australia’s biggest housing market, saw a 1.2 per cent increase in median house prices to $1.154million during the September quarter

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said Sydney properties were now about $43,500 below the mid-2017 price peak.

‘Despite house values rising modestly, the pace of quarterly growth was almost four times lower than the same time last year,’ she said.

Buyers have been lured back into the market by low interest rates, government tax cuts and other incentives as well as the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

‘Consumer confidence has made a remarkable rebound, boosted by the federal budget, success in containing the coronavirus and the prospect of further interest rate cuts,’ Ms Powell said. 

‘Strong buyer demand has absorbed rapidly rising new supply.’

‘With fewer investors and foreign interest, first-home buyers are taking advantage of the reduced competition, government incentives and low mortgage rates. 

Brisbane house prices have increased 0.4 per cent $596,316 over the September quarter, making last quarter’s fall short-lived.

‘Brisbane’s property values remain resilient given the economic impact of COVID-19,’ Ms Powell said.

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said Sydney properties are now about $43,500 below the mid-2017 price peak. Pictured: Sydney waterfront houses

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said Sydney properties are now about $43,500 below the mid-2017 price peak. Pictured: Sydney waterfront houses

Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said Sydney properties are now about $43,500 below the mid-2017 price peak. Pictured: Sydney waterfront houses

Brisbane (pictured) house prices have increased 0.4 per cent $596,316 over the September quarter, making last quarter's fall short-lived

Brisbane (pictured) house prices have increased 0.4 per cent $596,316 over the September quarter, making last quarter's fall short-lived

Brisbane (pictured) house prices have increased 0.4 per cent $596,316 over the September quarter, making last quarter’s fall short-lived

‘Price growth had been more subdued in the lead up to the COVID-19 outbreak compared to Sydney and Melbourne. Since the success in containing COVID-19 and restrictions have eased, property market confidence has lifted.’

Ms Powell said buyers are often attracted by south-east Queensland’s affordability and lifestyle, likely to be accelerated by the current health crisis.  

Adelaide house and unit prices are at record highs, $564,927 and $331,553 respectively.

House prices grew 2.8 per cent over the September quarter, which was the largest jump since late 2013 and the strongest September performance in 11 years. 

‘Domain’s Buyer Demand Indicator shows interest from prospective home hunters has risen post-lockdown, remaining significantly elevated compared to last year,’ Ms Powell said. 

Perth house and unit prices have increased over the September quarter, up 0.5 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively.

Adelaide (pictured) house and unit prices are at record highs, $564,927 and $331,553 respectively

Adelaide (pictured) house and unit prices are at record highs, $564,927 and $331,553 respectively

Adelaide (pictured) house and unit prices are at record highs, $564,927 and $331,553 respectively

Canberra house prices have also continued to rise over the September quarter, up 3.5 per cent to $817,810. Pictured: Real estate advertising in Canberra

Canberra house prices have also continued to rise over the September quarter, up 3.5 per cent to $817,810. Pictured: Real estate advertising in Canberra

Canberra house prices have also continued to rise over the September quarter, up 3.5 per cent to $817,810. Pictured: Real estate advertising in Canberra

This is a turnaround from the previous quarter when the economic fallout from COVID-19 momentarily stalled Perth’s price recovery.

‘Interest in Perth real estate has returned following a dip during the height of the COVID-19 restrictions,’ Ms Powell said. 

‘Buyer demand is being supported by historically low interest rates, relative affordability, HomeBuilder scheme, WA Building Bonus, first homebuyer incentives and the 75 per cent stamp duty discount on off-the-plan purchases.’

‘Strong buyer demand has rapidly absorbed newly listed homes for sale, and the total supply continues to shrink compared to last year.’

Houses in Hobart have surged to record highs over the September quarter, up 6.9 per cent $555,754.

Australian house prices

SYDNEY: Up 1.2 per cent to $1,154,406

MELBOURNE: Flat at $875,980 

BRISBANE: Up 0.4 per cent to $596,316

ADELAIDE: Up 2.8 per cent to $564,927

PERTH: Up 0.5 per cent to $534,336

HOBART: Up 6.9 per cent to $555,754

CANBERRA: Up 3.5 per cent to $817,810 

DARWIN: Up 6.6 per cent to $539,463

Source: Domain House Price Report for the September quarter of 2020 based on median house prices 

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This is the steepest increase over a quarter since late 2017, pushing annual growth to double digits, at 15.7 per cent.

Hobart is the third most affordable capital city to purchase a house, behind Perth and Darwin. 

‘Hobart’s housing market has become highly fragmented in recent months, with houses outperforming units,’ Ms Powell said. 

Canberra house prices have also continued to rise over the September quarter, up 3.5 per cent to $817,810.

House prices are 9.8 per cent higher than the same time last year, providing the strongest annual growth since early-2017. 

‘Canberra has been relatively sheltered from the economic impacts of COVID-19 compared to other cities,’ Ms Powell said.

‘Job and wage losses have skewed towards lower income households and a younger demographic, which are more likely to rent than own a home.’

Darwin’s housing market has made a remarkable turnaround over the September quarter, rising 6.6 per cent for houses and 4.5 per cent for units.

Darwin houses recorded the second strongest quarterly growth of all the capital cities and for units it was the steepest.

‘This marks the strongest annual gain in seven years for houses, up 7.2 per cent to $539,463,’ Ms Powell said.

‘Darwin is no longer the most affordable city to purchase a house, a title held momentarily and now lost to Perth.’ 

The only city in Australia where property prices have not rebounded is Melbourne, but Ms Powell said houses have shown incredible resilience over the strict lockdowns placed for COVID-19.

House prices held steady at $875,980 and unit prices fell a marginal 0.1 per cent to $536,659 over the September quarter. 

All capital cities recorded house price growth over the September quarter apart from Melbourne. 

The only city in Australia where property prices have not rebounded is Melbourne. Pictured: Melbourne on September 11. Buyers have been cautioned about a glut of units but well-located detached houses are considered 'growth potential' by two property experts

The only city in Australia where property prices have not rebounded is Melbourne. Pictured: Melbourne on September 11. Buyers have been cautioned about a glut of units but well-located detached houses are considered 'growth potential' by two property experts

The only city in Australia where property prices have not rebounded is Melbourne. Pictured: Melbourne on September 11. Buyers have been cautioned about a glut of units but well-located detached houses are considered ‘growth potential’ by two property experts

All capital cities recorded house price growth over the September quarter apart from Melbourne (A home in Northcote pictured)

All capital cities recorded house price growth over the September quarter apart from Melbourne (A home in Northcote pictured)

All capital cities recorded house price growth over the September quarter apart from Melbourne (A home in Northcote pictured)

‘Although this is the third consecutive quarter unit prices have fallen, the rate of decline has eased,’ Ms Powell said.

‘Stage four restrictions had a dramatic and instant effect on homes listed for sale, at the peak dropping about 70 per cent compared to last year.’

Price growth has also continued across regional areas in NSW and Victoria, highlighting how more Aussies may continue moving to regional areas as a result of the flexible working arrangements driven by COVID-19. 

Demand on property is expected to take a hit as overseas migration collapses, Ms Powell said.

‘The proposed relaxing of lending standards early next year and the imminent prospect of an interest rate cut will encourage people to borrow, however,’ she said.

‘With less scrutiny placed on borrowers it will become easier to take out a mortgage, making access to credit simpler and quicker. This is likely to boost demand for housing and, in turn, support home values.’  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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